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September 4, 2006

Back to School (or how I saved almost $9,000)

Filed under Animation, Maya, Software

I am officially a student again! I'm taking a 3D Animation class at El Centro College, which is just 2 blocks from my apartment.

Why am I going back to school? While I was at SIGGRAPH in Boston, I saw a bunch of high end software I'd really like to have...but it is *really* expensive. I talked with a company that had a booth at SIGGRAPH called JourneyEd. They said if I was a student, I could get the full versions of software at academic prices.

Two years ago I bought a 3D animation tool, Maya 6.0 Complete. It cost me $2,000. Maya has a *very* poor upgrade policy. When Maya 7.0 came out last year, it would have cost me around $1,500 to upgrade! No thanks.

So now Maya 8.0 is out. There are two versions: Complete for $2,000 or Unlimited for $8,000. Academic prices are a *bit* lower: Complete for $289 or Unlimited for $399. I decided to "splurge" and go with Unlimited. Being a student saved me $7,600 off Maya!

I've also been looking at moving to Adobe PhotoShop. Corel's Paint Shop Pro has served me well, but it isn't the industry standard like PhotoShop is. I was also interested in moving from Ulead's Media Studio Pro to Adobe's Premier Pro. If you are going to get both software packages, it is much cheaper to get the Adobe Production Studio Premium, which comes with a bunch of interesting Adobe applications:

  • PhotoShop (image editing)
  • Premier Pro (video editing)
  • Illustrator (vector editing)
  • Audition (sound editing)
  • After Effects (video compositing)
  • Encore DVD (DVD authoring)

The regular price for Adobe Production Studio Premium is $1,700, but students can get it at JourneyEd for $649. That is a saving of $1000.

All told, I saved $8,600! The cost to be a student, after my company kicks in some dough, is $25!

I registered and got my student ID in the same visit to El Centro. As soon as I got my ID, I ran home and placed an order for the software. I wanted the software to get here quick so I paid for next day shipping...which turned out to be really stupid since JourneyEd is located in Dallas. Oh well. The software arrived in 5 days (including a weekend).

To prove I was a student, I just sent JourneyEd a picture of my ID. They said I am eligible for student discounts for one year with my ID! I may have to get Microsoft's Visual Studio Pro 2005 next!

Now that I have my software, I could drop out. But I am not going to. I'm going to stick with my 3D animation class. It's fun! I'm self-taught in 3D animation, so it is likely that I will pick up some things in the class. The class is small...just me a girl. The class is using Apple Macs. The last time I used a Mac, they were black and white (and I'm not talking about case colors). So this is good environment for me to learn about how Mac OS X works. We are using Newtek's Lightwave, which I have never used.

Comments (7)


The Adobe suite and a Mac...welcome to my world!


Mac OS X rocks...I have a Mini. I used to have Lightwave for the PC, started with the Beta. I really do like Lightwave, but I think I like Modo more now. Ohhh and Trey, I thought you sent the Mac Mini back.

Different Trey, John. *This* Trey is the weird one.

Hey, I resemble that remark!

"Yeah, he's the weird one," said Steve's Cat.

Sorry Erich. Should have done some digging. Not sure I can agree with Daivd thou, I have meet alot of people in my life and Mr. Trey Morton has to be by far one of the weird ones. ;-)


Another site that you may want to check out is Academic Superstore. They have free shipping and a great variety of cheap software if you're a student or educator. Pretty sweet deals and will help you continue on your savings spree!

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